October 3, the German "Tag der Einheit," is traditionally on the calendar as the season finale for many gran fondo riders. Location: Münster. Event: Sparkassen Münsterland Giro. Organization: Deutsche Gründlichkeit, fully closed roads, in perfect condition.
After the heroic 2021 edition, CycloWorld said, "Hopefully next year again, but without COVID restrictions, nice weather and a nice Weizenbier in the Jedermann Rennen Bereich. Biss 2022 Münster!" That promise was more than fulfilled: beautiful racing weather, no COVID restrictions, a tasty Weizen from sponsor Krombacher and, for dessert, swatching the pro's starring Olav Kooij.
The organization of the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro chooses each year to race on a different course through Münsterland. Whereas the 2021 edition featured a hilly route, this year it was so flach wie ein Pfannkuchen. With that, it was a near certainty that the stamp of a fast GF would be fulfilled this year. The beautiful windless autumn weather took care of the rest. In all categories there was cutting edge racing. In both the Cup der Sparkasse Münsterland Ost (65 km), Cup der Provinzial Versicherung (95 km) and Cup der LBS (125 km) the average speeds at the finish line were well over 40 km/h and there was a fierce sprint for places of honor.
The Germany gran fondo tour features the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro, Deutschland Tour, Rund um Köln, Bemer Cyclassics Hamburg, Rad am Ring, Eschborn-Frankfurt and the Rider Man; each of them gems that are crowded every year. With over three thousand participants this year, Münster was once again extremely entertaining. Cycling enthusiasts of all levels made their way along one of the three routes, each at their own pace and with their own goal. A textbook example of wide-ranging amateur cycling in optima forma.
|Cup der Sparkasse Münsterland Ost||65 km||799||179|
|Cup der Provinzial Versicherung||95 km||1049||107|
|Cup der LBS||125 km||847||48|
The normally present contingent of Dutch and Belgians was unfortunately missing this year due to the Tag der Einheit falling on a Monday this year. CycloWorld was of course present and was represented by André (father) and son Marcel, yours truly. 76-year-old André rode the 95 km route at his own pace in 3:38h: "It is surprisingly beautiful here in the Münster area. I enjoyed a wonderful day of cycling, super route, beautiful roads. And all those enthusiastic people along the side of the road. Top arranged!"
I myself felt like a raving reporter in the Cup of LBS. From the starting area of the fast men/women, it was full gas immediately after the flag dropped. Through attentive racing and clever maneuvering I was able to maintain myself in the front of the pack throughout the race. And with a course average of 46.2 kph in the first hour and 44.9 at the finish, that was no mean feat. Having ridden a number of German gran fondos by now, you recognize the "Vereinen," teams of ten to fifteen teammates who arrive at the start well prepared, control the course and maintain the pace. They do so in competition for the German Cycling Cup. Due to local course knowledge, a group of six ride away from the peloton after a right-angled turn. On the narrow country road that follows, the door is locked. Teammates fan out wide on the road and the six in front ride away a minute and a half in no time. For the peloton, the consolation prizes remain. In the last two km I managed to avoid a crash left and right, but sprinting was out of the question. With a 33rd place overall and sixth place in the Masters-2 (40-49 years old) it was a very good result. All other results can be found here.
Can you put up a quality event year after year that has little to no faults? CycloWorld says about the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro once again: YES! Perfect organization, good atmosphere, beautiful roads, good care before, in and after the gran fondo and the hundreds of friendly and hospitable volunteers (mostly students). They help you with anything and everything and even sweep the leaves off the course. So to conclude with the words from 2021: Münster es war wieder Affen Titten Geil!